Friday, April 19, 2013

R.I.P. | Dr. Denis B. Woodfield, NYC Dinner Chairman #2, Died at 79

Denis B. Woodfield
Denis Buchanan Woodfield, D.Phil., formerly of Rye, N.Y., died on April 17, 2013 at the age of 79. Cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He lived in Princeton, New Jersey.

Denis was born in New York City in 1933, the year that the New York City Oxford-Cambridge Dinner — of which he was the second chairman — started. 

Growing up in Vermont and Maine, his formative years were spent in Switzerland, where he attended The College de Vevey, and graduated from Harvard, class of 1954, aged 20. 

Deferring his acceptance to Lincoln College, Oxford University, he served in the U.S. military, attending the Army Language School in Monterey, California to learn Russian. Upon completion, he was sent to the 513th Military Intelligence in Germany where he worked as Chief US Army Interpreter, Armed Forces Central Europe for three years, frequently being a simultaneous translator at NATO meetings.

Returning to civilian life, he took up his position at Oxford University, attaining his D.Phil. in English bibliography. He was a life-long lover and buyer of rare books. His book Surreptitious Printing in England, 1550-1640, has itself become a valuable commodity.

Married in London, England, in 1963, to Rosemary Humphries, the couple moved to Rye. At this time, he was employed by the Chase Manhattan Bank. Three years later, he went to work for General Electric followed by six years with Pan American World Airways as their director of Cash and Banking. Moving to Princeton, New Jersey, Denis joined Johnson & Johnson, where he spent the next 20 years in various financial functions, including as Assistant Treasurer for Cash and Banking. 

Following his retirement at age 60, he became the Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Industries and Services Association in New York City. 

Denis kept up his academic interests throughout his life. He published three books in addition to the one already cited, and for many years was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the British Schools and Universities Foundation. One of his proudest accomplishments was being elected in 2012 an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford University. 

He was a member of the Harvard Club, and many Patriotic Societies such as the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of New Jersey, the Society of Colonial Wars and the Mayflower Society, and the Baronial Order of the Magna Carta. 

Denis leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Rosemary, and their three children—Katherine Woodfield Hermes, Nicholas Wyckoff Woodfield, and Elizabeth Dudley Woodfield (Carlucci) — and seven grandchildren. He was the older brother of the late Anthony Wyckoff Woodfield, and is survived by his sister Rosamond Woodfield Larr (Roz), and his step-father, Irving Charles Herrmann, both of Rye. 

The funeral will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Church of St. John on the Mountain, 379 Mt. Harmony Road, Bernardsville, NJ at 4 pm. 

Condolences at

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